The Lahore Supreme Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to complete its investigation into the property case against Pakistan Muslim League leaders – Quaid (PML-Q), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi four weeks.
This was observed by the court when it heard the Chaudhry brothers’ petition against the NAB’s investigation and the powers of its chairman.
DG Nab Lahore Shehzad Saleem was summoned to the court.
The brothers’ attorney informed the court that his Clients brought charges of possessing assets beyond their incomes, but NAB DG Lahore told the court that the anti-graft agency had closed the illegal recruitment case against the Chaudhry brothers and that the previous cases against them were closed by the court in 2016. while the latter was pending with the office.
He stated that a Gujarat resident had again filed a complaint with the Chaudhry brothers in 2000 and the then-NAB chairman directed the anti-corruption department to investigate.
In 2010, NAB Lahore wrote one Letter to the NAB chairman on this case. The Level Committee directed the office to complete the investigation into the case within two months.
The case began in 2017 when the brothers were summoned and presented a declaration of their property. The court was informed by Saleem that the investigation into the case would be within six months would be finished in six months.
After hearing the DG’s arguments, Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan asked how an investigation could be opened against a person who pays taxes and has declared all his property. “How many assets do you have and how much salary did you receive as a lieutenant?” the judge asked DG.
The DG NAB Lahore replied that his assets were worth Rs 40 million and that he currently received a monthly salary of Rs 500,000 from NAB. “I don’t have a salary record during the time I was a lieutenant with me at this time,” he added. Justice Sadaqat responded to the CEO’s comments saying that at some point the court would sit down with him and have a thorough discussion about him.
He then ordered the NAB to complete the investigation against the Chaudhry brothers in four weeks.
In May of this year, PML-Q leaders had challenged the authority of the NAB president to reopen a 19-year case against them in the LHC.
Both leaders filed a petition alleging that the NAB was an institution involved in political engineering and raising questions about its investigating authority
They claimed that the courts had previously ruled on the role of the NAB and its “wrong methods” of investigation.
Chaudhry Brothers argued that the anti-corruption institution had started investigations against them on charges of abuse of authority, deliberate breach and assets beyond the media in 2000 and could not find an iota of evidence against him over the past 19 years.
They said the NAB Chief once again ordered an investigation into a 19-year-old case and argued that the head of the anti-corruption watchdog had no authority to reopen the case that had already been closed.